Here, it is always warm. Hot, even. And humid. The fans are always on, there is a calm noise overhead, always a hum. It’s like a hospital. There aren’t even any bugs in the house, just huge spiders, occasionally, and some snakes. But the rugs are rotting.
You happened. You became the newest, sweetest downfall, another forbidden fruit. But how simple is this? You happened. I was in love with you, I think, I am quite certain. And you happened. And that morning happened. And later you told me,
“I’ll probably never be this happy again.”
But it’s warm here. Hot, even. You crawl through my mind like an insect. Or a worm, even. Worms like decay. I don’t like to think that my mind is decaying. It’s just malfunctioning. It’s stuck running a loop, like an old movie projector, and you’re on the screen. And I have my own soundtrack, it sounds like this:
“He doesn’t love me”
and it’s set on repeat too. All this to the smell of rotting rugs.
I tell myself, it’s going to get better, and of course, it will, no violence, of course. I have so much time here, and nothing to do but perfect myself, for me, I tell others, for you, I tell myself. And so I will be back and there will be cold. I will perm my hair and the curls will frame my flushed cheeks and maybe I’ll even have tears in my eyes, or maybe I won’t, and I’ll just brush the hair out of my eyes with my gloved hand and smile at you faintly and dissolve into the cold dark streets of my loathed city.
On the other hand, I don’t even have to come back. I could stay here, where it is hot, and let that heat drive the cold from my bones and fill me entirely, however long that takes. I’ll stay here and still achieve everything I’ve ever wanted. I’ll go on proving how strong I can be. I’ll go on, covering my wounds with band-aids made of diplomas, certificates and bank notes. And that will be fine, because I will have a place in the world, and no one but me has to know how superficial it is.
I only know that I cannot take another drunken confession. I cannot take another compliment from you. I do not need you to sing Neil Young to me. You’re far too old for that, and anyway, I don’t even know who that is. I really did love you. And still do, the way I always love ghosts after sunrise, or shadows when the sun sets.
When the rugs are rotting, you have to replace them eventually. And the longer you take, the more damage you cause. Except my heart isn’t a rug. The same principle applies, however.